Domestic violence expert won’t testify, Neither Will Cynthia Montgomery

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[b]THE JACKSON TRIAL: Domestic violence expert won’t testify[/b] 4/22/05 By DAWN HOBBS NEWS-PRESS STAFF WRITER In a critical day of rulings in the Michael Jackson molestation case, a judge decided prosecutors may not use a domestic violence expert to lend credibility to the accuser’s mother. But he decided the defense may have a witness testify about the prior sexual acts of the accuser in an attempt to impeach him. To counter a defense attack that the mother lied under oath in an unrelated case about her reportedly abusive relationship with her husband, prosecutors argued they needed to bring in an expert to explain this would be common for a woman suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Senior Deputy District Attorney Gordon Auchincloss argued the mother behaved like a battered woman around Mr. Jackson by not calling police and returning to Neverland Valley Ranch. He tried to make the domestic violence link by showing the woman considered Mr. Jackson family and her children saw him as a father figure. But Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville interrupted: “I’m having trouble keeping up with you here. . . . You’re playing Mr. Jackson in the position of a husband. You are making a big jump there.” The judge denied the prosecution request because neither the unrelated case nor this one is about domestic violence. If it were approved, co-defense counsel Robert Sanger indicated his side would call witnesses to show that the mother is a batterer and not the victim. The rulings on these witnesses and others came as the prosecution is wrapping up its case and defense lawyers are getting ready to launch theirs. The hearing was conducted outside the presence of jurors. The judge did approve co-defense counsel Susan Yu’s request to allow a young witness, a relative of Mr. Jackson’s, to testify that he observed the accuser and his brother while they were masturbating in a guest unit at the ranch. The accuser has testified he had never masturbated until Mr. Jackson allegedly did it to him, and during cross-examination he denied he was caught masturbating in a guest unit. Mr. Jackson’s relative was listed on guest logs as staying in the same unit with the boys from March 3 to 5, 2003. The boy then returned on March 9. The accuser claims Mr. Jackson molested him the last week the family was at the ranch, which they left March 12, 2003. Earlier in the day, a police officer who moonlighted at Mr. Jackson’s ranch testified that the arrival date of the family may be incorrect. On Wednesday, his testimony contradicted that of the mother, who said she was in a Florida hotel room with the entertainer when the log indicated she was already at the ranch that day. In other rulings, the judge decided to allow the prosecution to bring in another former Neverland employee to testify about Mr. Jackson’s behavior with adolescent boys. Kassim Abdool will support the statements of Ralph Chacon, a former employee who said he saw Mr. Jackson perform oral sex on the accuser in a 1993 investigation against the entertainer. Charges were never filed in that case. Mr. Abdool is expected to testify that after that incident he found the boy’s underwear in the shower building. Both Mr. Abdool and Mr. Chacon lost a 1995 civil lawsuit against Mr. Jackson and were ordered to pay him more than $1 million. Judge Melville also is allowing the testimony of Manuel Ramirez, the boyfriend of the accuser’s sister, during the defense case. Despite arguments from Senior Deputy District Attorney Ron Zonen that Mr. Ramirez knows nothing and needs to get back to his service in the military, the judge said “there appears to be evidence that he has something to say” and suggested the defense get him in early. And while the accuser’s mother cited the Fifth Amendment in refusing to testify on potential welfare fraud and perjury last week, two more prosecution witnesses indicated they want to do so, as well. The judge ruled the defense may not ask Chris Carter, a former Neverland bodyguard, about his pending armed robbery and kidnapping charges. However, the judge indicated he plans to tell jurors Mr. Carter is in custody and faces state and federal charges. Mr. Carter is expected to testify how when he found the current accuser drunk one night, the boy said Mr. Jackson told him it was OK to drink. Mr. Carter is also expected to testify that he gave the mother a ride home at the time the family was allegedly being held against their will. However, the judge excluded altogether the testimony of Cynthia Montgomery rather than let her take the Fifth Amendment over the surreptitious taping of Mr. Jackson on a private jet when he flew to Santa Barbara to surrender on Nov. 20, 2003 — a matter the FBI is investigating. Allowing her to plead the Fifth, the judge ruled, would deprive the defense of its right to cross-examine an area that is relevant to the case. Source:

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